Friday, January 27, 2012
Because of the maritime links between metropolis and port, seafood is an important part of São Paulo's diet, and many fish and shellfish dishes have pride of place in São Paulo's gastronomy. This recipe, which is part of Flavors of Brazil's week-long celebration of São Paulo's 458th birthday, is a favorite appetizer or first course in simple, neighborhood bars and restaurants. It's so closely connected with the city that it is known as São Paulo style shrimp.
The recipe itself is very easy and quick. The only important thing to note is that it requires best-quality shrimp, as fresh as possible. As the shrimp are fried in their shells and seasoned only with garlic, parsley and lime, the briny flavors of the crustacean itself predominate in the dish. If you prefer, you can cut the shells open along the back of the shrimp to remove the vein. But don't remove the shell (nor the head) - if you do it won't be Camarão à Paulista.
Serve very hot with a large bowl for the shells and finger bowls with warm water. You'll need them.
RECIPE - Shrimp São Paulo Style (Camarão à Paulista)
2 lbs (1 kg) large whole shrimp - with heads and unpeeled
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/3 cup neutral vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
2 limes, washed and cut into wedges
In a large mixing bowl combine the shrimps, salt and pepper to taste and the lime juice. Toss the shrimps to cover with juice and let marinate in the refrigerator for one hour.
Drain the shrimp and pat dry. Reserve.
In a large heavy-duty frying pan heat the vegetable oil until it's very hot but not smoking. Add the shrimp and fry, stirring from time to time, until the shrimp have turned pink and are cooked through, about three minutes. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon, and drain them on paper towels, keeping warm.
Meanwhile, add the sliced garlic to the oil the shrimp was fried in. Fry until the slices just turn light brown. Do not overcook. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Put the shrimp in a large deep serving bowl. Sprinkle the sliced garlic over all, then sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Add the lime wedges around the edges of the bowl and serve immediately.
Recipe translated and adapted from Cozinha Regional Brasileira by Abril Editora.